Awful book covers: Wuthering Heights

Well, after my previous post, I couldn’t resist doing my own hunt for dreadful covers – and Wuthering Heights seemed like the sort of book which would oblige.  There are actually a lot of great covers out there for it (I really like the modern, slightly dark ones I saw) but there were also, of course, some awful ones.  With all inspiration due to Bizarre Victoria (and to Caustic Cover Critic), here are the ones I found…

Wuthering Heights: the Edvard Munch edition

Wuthering Heights: the Gone With the Wind edition

Wuthering Heights:
the ‘it’s raining and all I had was my bedsheet’ edition

Wuthering Heights: the ginger edition

Wuthering Heights:
the Little House on the Prarie edition

Wuthering Heights: the Isabella Blow edition

Wuthering Heights:
the ‘which house IS that?’ edition

Wuthering Heights: the Rosie & Jim edition

Wuthering Heights:
the ‘here are two images I found, right, LUNCHTIME’ edition
Wuthering Heights: the 90210 edition

Why not pick your own Victorian novel and give it a whirl?!

50 thoughts on “Awful book covers: Wuthering Heights

  • February 6, 2014 at 10:15 pm
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    Oh dear, those are appalling! The last one is a right stinker! Why do they do it? I have a Penguin edition of this with no figures, just a dramatic landscape painting with a stormy blue sky, and I think it looks really good and works.

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  • February 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm
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    I cannot believe that last one! All so vile.

    I noticed Émile Zola has suffered more than his fair share of shocking covers as well – I put them on my Tumblr ages ago, but if you want to see some horrors, here they are :)

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    • February 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm
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      Thanks for the link to them! Zola is an author I've yet to read, but I will bear some of these covers in mind when I do (!)

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    • February 11, 2014 at 3:48 am
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      Zola's wonderful, I hope you get a chance to read some of the Rougon Macquart series (there are 20, but don't let them scare you off, as they easily stand alone.) They are full of wonderfully fascinating train wrecks. Also, one of his earlier novels, Therese Raquin, was recently adapted into a film called In Secret starring Jessica Lange. I'm looking forward to it!

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  • February 6, 2014 at 11:09 pm
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    In the Classics Illustrated edition, Cathy appears to be actually *wearing* the moor! And I can't help thinking that anyone picking up the "Rosie and Jim" edition is going to be seriously traumatised when she starts banging on the window.

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    • February 9, 2014 at 4:33 pm
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      That's true! Maybe she got chilly while wandering the wily, windy moors. And I do wonder how Bowdlerised that edition of WH is going to be – you're so right that they're in for a shock!

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  • February 7, 2014 at 2:26 am
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    You are too funny. I could probably find some awful covers of my favorites but I don't think my captions would be nearly as good. Challenge accepted!!

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    • February 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm
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      Thanks so much Karen! I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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    • February 11, 2014 at 3:50 am
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      I couldn't resist, I did House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Here's the link: //karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/2014/02/awful-book-covers-house-of-mirth.html

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    • February 7, 2014 at 7:11 am
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      If you haven't yet been to see the real Isabella Blow exhibition at Somerset House can I very, very strongly recommend it!

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    • February 9, 2014 at 6:13 pm
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      I'm very pleased that people recognised the reference! (I do wonder if anybody out there got ALL the references in this… but if anyone did, Vicki, I'd think you'd be that person!)

      Peter – thanks so much for mentioning that, I think I'll try to get to that if I'm in London whilst it's open.

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    • February 17, 2014 at 8:29 pm
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      I think the Isabella Blow cover is my favourite too… AND it looks as if she's fighting off an attack by a giant caterpillar. But Rosie and Jim are delightful. WH is just the book to press into the hands of an six-year-old. Truly, Simon, you are a genius for finding these but your captions make it.

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  • February 7, 2014 at 5:02 am
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    These are just great with the last one taking the cake. Thanks. now off to see the Jane Eyre ones.

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  • February 7, 2014 at 7:16 am
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    Thank you for these (and links). I think this confirms my own view that covers are by far the least important part of a book! I care about cover design, but good doesn't get me to go for a book nor bad put me off. Now if I could only get publishers to leave off the puffery from the back cover I'd be a happy cat!

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    • February 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm
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      I am still so drawn to a beautiful cover – which is silly, since it will spend its life jammed between other books – but do enough by now not to buy a book based on that alone!

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  • February 7, 2014 at 9:59 am
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    These are hilarious – 'Help, Heathcliff, I am beset by a giant hairy green centipede!' maybe one from outer space… My favourite Wuthering Heights doesn't really have a cover – it's Rawhide's audio version, done for the CBC in 1955. Best described at http://www.folkways.si.edu/TrackDetails.aspx?itemid=6909 , also available to listen on Spotify and so on.

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    • February 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm
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      I think the distance between the best and worst cover designers must be one of the widest chasms in the publishing industry!

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  • February 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm
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    Oh, I can't decide which is my favorite – these are all so awful! But your captions are the best part – I'm still giggling over "The 90210 version."

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    • February 9, 2014 at 6:16 pm
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      Ha! A very good question! But I do wonder how often designers read the book – I read an interview with one, forget who, who said he read each book three times. Impressive if true!

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  • February 7, 2014 at 2:31 pm
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    I like the Mango classics version so much… Ah, it's such a giggly, joyful, homely romp of an afternoon entertainment, this novel is, up there with Five Children and It and Nancy Drewe…

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  • February 7, 2014 at 4:10 pm
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    Hilarious! Love the Gone With the Wind edition…you do have a way with titling things. :)

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  • February 7, 2014 at 9:20 pm
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    This post made me laugh :) It just goes to show doesn't it, that for every beautiful book cover, there's some…not so great ones!

    Gemma

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    • February 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm
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      And the 70s was especially blessed with the, erm, not so great ones!

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  • February 8, 2014 at 12:23 am
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    Priceless! Thanks for the laugh – it was perfectly timed. Swamped in paperwork of triple-check minutiae sort right now; a quick escape to visit a few of my favourite bloggers brought me round – as always! – to here. But I must say I rather like the bed sheet cover – rather Burnes-Jonesy, don't you think? I have a lot of fun doing this sort of thing on occasion – Agatha Christie is particularly grand for this as there are so many editions.

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    • February 9, 2014 at 6:18 pm
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      I'm very glad that it cheered your day! And agree that Christie has been very, ahem, blessed with imaginative designers. Must do a post of some of those…

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  • February 10, 2014 at 2:18 am
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    Hey, this is fun! I just ran a google image search on Pride and Prejudice and there are some bad, hilariously bad, and just plain weird covers out there. The Everyman's Library cover was particularly "what the …..?"

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  • February 10, 2014 at 11:23 am
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    This is such a fun idea (I might just pick one to do myself), and I love your comments.

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  • February 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm
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    When it is an old copy, older than 10/20 years there is something I love about bad book covers. But the more recent 'modern' ones – wow, there really are some shockers. The last 3 you've listed are particularly horrendous!

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    • February 14, 2014 at 3:31 pm
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      That's definitely true – the pulp fiction type covers are rather wonderful in their own way. Maybe one day we'll feel the same about those modern ones… but I can't imagine it.

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  • February 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm
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    Oh your captions are HILARIOUS! *wipestearsoflaughterfromeyes What were the publishers thinking????

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    • February 14, 2014 at 3:32 pm
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      Thanks very much Victoria, glad you liked them! It is beyond me that people actually *designed* these things…

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    • February 14, 2014 at 11:18 pm
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      "Thinking", litlove? You give them too much credit.

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  • February 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm
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    The one with the tumbled down house depicts Top Withens, about 4 miles from Haworth where the Bronte sisters grew up. It is often thought of to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights. Ted Hughes wrote about a pilgrimage he and Sylvia Plath made to it in his poem 'Wuthering Heights'.

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    • February 14, 2014 at 3:32 pm
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      Well, there you have it! I always thought of Wuthering Heights having a roof, but… :)

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  • February 14, 2014 at 11:20 pm
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    The scariest part about the Rosie and Jim cover is the phrase "retold by Gill Tavner."

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